It’s time again for our bimonthly meeting. We’ll be meeting at Rudolphs Bar-B-Que again starting at 18:30 (6:30 p.m.).

I apologize for the late notice but long holidays have a habit of messing up schedules, especially when you aren’t in front of your computer at all.

Most of our recent meetings have discussed software security. But software is only as secure as the hardware it’s running on. That’s why we’re going to take some time to look at physical security.

In the old days, before networks were widely available, malware primarily spread through physical media. Sometimes referred to as a sneakernet, data was transferred from computer to computer via disks. Sometimes malware would hitch a ride on a disk and infect any computer that it was inserted into. Today malware is primarily spread through networks but some malicious software can still be spread via physical media. Stuxnet, for example, infected Iranian nuclear plants via a USB drive. More recently malware has been delivered to mobile phones via malicious charging ports.

Delivering malware via USB drives isn’t the only risk. An attacker with access to an unencrypted hard drive can copy the contents to another drive without the user knowing. The National Security Agency (NSA) even inserted hardware bugs into Cisco routers.

We’ll discuss these threats as well as some precautions you can take to defend against them (at least some of them) at the meeting.

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